One of the things I want to address is the Josh Duggar situation. I try not to attack people whether I know them personally or not but it is something that I don’t think anyone has addressed from the angle that I see it. These angles are from the perspective of a conservative-religious upbringing, male sexuality, and dealing with your enemies, critics, and detractors… i.e., haters.
I felt that I could relate to Josh Duggar’s upbringing. I admit I have never watched the show but I know that they tried to paint the picture of a tight nit conservative-religious family. That was their shtick. It appealed to a certain audience in America that wants to see their old school values put back into the mainstream.
I grew up in this kind of world. Where people were encouraged to marry early; as kids. Because the elders knew what kids wanted to do and in the thousands of years of human history there were consequences for sex. Now, with birth control there are fewer consequences. Religious values haven’t really caught up to reality. There is still value in the teachings of old religion. Our ancient ancestors had a good grasp of human nature and crafted fables and guidelines to warn us of it but that is a topic for another discussion.
So all of the Duggars were kept sexually repressed. They even had a code work ‘Nike’ that they would say to each other when an attractive woman was approaching. This cued the males to avert their eyes to their shoes. Thus they would not see the attractive woman and be tempted. While this may be an effective short term strategy it does not work in the long term for managing male sexuality. Our modern culture has created many healthy outlets for boys and men to release the persistent tension. Marrying young is one solution that they tried to employ but marrying at age 15 is still well outside the norm. That’s really when that persistent, nagging drive to explore a boy’s natural urges begins.
And that’s what happened with Josh. In mainstream America, young boys will acquire porn from older siblings, their fathers, or friends. Now it is even more widely available on the Internet. Some parents may even allow co-ed parties and young boys and girls to date. None of these were available to Josh. He was forced to grow up in a repressive, ignorant environment.
I find it ironic that some media pundits rallying to the support of his wife lash out at the religious upbringing that keeps her from divorcing Josh immediately. They have failed to really touch on the root of the problem. Traditional, conservative views on managing sex have not adapted quickly enough to our modern world. It is fine to hold your views for yourself but not fine to impress them on the next generation when they have lost all efficacy.
So going forward in life Josh has been embroiled in scandals of having a membership at Ashley Madison. One thing I find erroneous in that reporting is that he quote “used it to cheat on his wife.” It is pretty clear now through many tech savvy investigators that there were virtually no real women using the site. The hackers claimed that their intent was to expose this fraudulent practice and out cheaters. Yet of the three websites that Avid Life Media runs, Ashley Madison, Established Men, and Cougar Life, only the two male focused sites were targeted. Again this speaks to the lack of understanding and demonization of male sexuality. Should he have sex with another woman? Not without his wife’s consent. Both their cultures would not permit any alternative arrangement so he resorted to the clandestine. We can despise this choice he made but understand that he made it against logic, morals, and common sense. He must have had an overwhelming urge to seek sex with multiple women; something nearly all men understand and control. That control was not properly taught to him in his upbringing and it manifested later and more destructively in life.
There is also a porn star named Danica Dillon that accused him of paying her for sex. She accused him of having rough, dominant, abusive sex. According to her Josh had followed her career and she was one of his fantasies. I looked her up; not my type and some of her works are rather brutal and not my taste. Lacking the knowledge of context of them being a fictionalized performance Josh didn’t have the tools to make that distinction. He probably had little knowledge of sex outside his wife presumably raised in the same culture of sexual ignorance and the world of sex portrayed in porn. That’s a very stark divide to navigate without real world experience.
One of the issues with Danica Dillon scandal is that he paid for it. Men that have sex are not bad men. Men that pay for sex are not respected men. All humans want to be desired for who they are. Sometimes that just isn’t enough. People instinctively know a person’s sexual market value by who chooses to sleep with them. Paying for it is basically breaking the rules. That’s why a scandal such as this can bring down a politician like Anthony Wiener. But on the other side of the male alpha spectrum, you have Donald Trump that is high status enough to have his secretary find Penthouse Pet Sandra Taylor, take our out for pizza and then back to her place on the first date, gift her with a copy of his auto-biography, convince her to change her name and life goals, and she will years later joyfully claim he was amazing. …Alpha. And everyone, male and female, senses this about him. Trump would be bulletproof against sex scandals.
And bulletproof is what you have to make yourself when facing criticism on all sides. Own up. Say “I did it, that’s me, this is my life, how’s yours?” Josh did the first part of fessing up but he dutifully failed in the followup because of the culture that failed him. He was expected to feel shame and so he expressed shame. That just fuels the haters. They know they are getting to you and will never let up until you stand up to them. What Josh needs is a Charlie Sheen moment. Unapologetic acceptance and flagrant promotion of who he really is; not what he is expected to be. Then he would become unassailable. He would be remain a pariah within his family, his culture, and that of the mainstream. But maybe, just maybe, he would find acceptance with himself, find his true supporters, and create a platform from his fame to give other boys growing up in his circumstances a chance to be healthy men.